Racism is still a problem today

Allison Young, Opinions Writer

Growing up I never had to deal with racism or inequality in any form. I went to a school that was predominately white students. When I learned about the Civil Rights Movement we only focused on Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks. I learned about racism and how prevalent it used to be, but until I came to college I never realized how active it still is. As someone who is accepting of everyone, I still wonder why people are seen so differently when in reality we could not be more similar. Ensuring future equality for people of African descent will consist of educating our youth and peacefully protesting.

Like I mentioned, I was unaware of everything going on surrounding racism. In the classroom, I was never taught that only 58 percent of African American students graduate high school. I did not learn that the average wage for a full time working African American woman is $33,780 a year, compared to ‘all women’ in the U.S. making $38,097. I also did not learn that one in every black male could go to prison. Therefore, I believe that educating our youth is a valuable way to ensure future equality for African Americans. If we educate our youth that racism still exists, they could be the ones that break the cycle.

If I knew how different an African Americans’ life is, I would have been less stereotypical. As much as I would like to deny it, I cannot. As a child not knowing any better I always thought that most black people were “bad” even though my parents told me they were not. It pains me to say such a thing now, because almost all my friends are from African American descent, and are the best people I have ever met. I want the best for everyone and I think that the world needs to see a change. But we also cannot just sit around waiting for a change to come.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” This quote is very powerful because I think Dr. King was saying that no matter how much hate we experience in our lives, the only way to get rid of hate is to show love.

Dr. King encouraged peaceful protesting because he did not want to create more attention for blacks, he wanted to prove that no one would just back down when things got hard. I think that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a very wise man for this. I think in today’s world, peaceful protesting would go a long way. If people followed in Dr. King’s footsteps we would slowly see a difference. Although it is unfortunate that we still must peacefully protest about racism, we would have a much stronger system than they had during the Civil Rights Movement. What I mean by this is that the protests would not only be led by black individuals; it would be led by Caucasians, Asians, Hispanics and many other races. And with these different forces coming together, peaceful protests show maturity and strength; in my eyes this is more effective than any other type of protest.

I would love to see a change in this world and will do anything it takes to make sure everyone is seen as equal individuals.